Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Deja Vu All Over Again

I'm not a great admirer of FBI Director Comey. I think he acted wrongly on the Clinton e-mail matter. But I don't think those actions had anything to do with his firing.

I also don't think Sally Yates' decision about Trump's first immigration order had anything to do with her firing.

This is about Russia.

Let's get this straight! Our democracy is under attack.

It is under attack by the Republican Party, whose leaders demonstrate contempt for democracy.

It is under attack by Russia, whose leader, Vladimir Putin, despises democracy..

I have seen some such attacks before.

My wife and I were in Washington DC during Watergate.

I knew some of the players in the White House, in the Congress, in the Department of State and in the Pentagon.

But it was a different time.

I have learned some things recently about ties between the Brexit campaign, Russian hacking, Steve Bannon, Bannon's billionaire sponsors in the Mercer family and extraordinary computer technology to target specific voters with particular false news reports.

These same techniques were used to get the UK out of the European Union, satisfying a major goal of Vladimir Putin. The same techniques were used in our 2016 presidential election, and succeeded in electing Donald Trump. I suspect the same techniques have been used in US elections to state and congressional offices over the past eight years.

The same techniques were used last Sunday in France, but it didn't work. They will probably be used in this summer's elections in Germany.

Now the deputy White House spokeswoman urges that the Russia investigation be ended.

A hundred years ago last month, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany "To make the world safe for democracy."

Our democracy in 1917 was flawed. Women could not yet vote. Blacks could not yet vote in most of the country. Unions had few rights. We still had child labor. And on and on. But over the next 80 years we worked hard to make our democracy better. And we spread democracy across the industrial world.

This plainly did not impress our billionaire class. Like the bandits in "Treasure Of The Sierra Madre," they don't need no stinkin' investigations.

Since the presidential campaign of 2000 and the case of Bush v. Gore, our democracy has been subjected to one attack after another.

It is time to fight back.

Follow the bodies.

Only we ourselves can defend democracy from its enemies.

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